The main parts of the Ritual are performed, of course, by the exorcist alone. His assistants (indicated in the text by the letter A) join him in Psalm and Gospel readings and in responding Amen to nine Prayers and Addresses. Some exorcists add two or three assistants to the usual four; and the additional assistants recite the Rosary or chant hymns right through the exorcism.
Whenever a printed cross appears in the following text, the exorcist makes the Sign of the Cross in the general direction of the exorcee, unless the text indicates a precise place or direction (as, the forehead of the exorcee, the assistants, or etc.).
|CHAPTER ONE: INSTRUCTIONS FOR EXORCISING THOSE POSSESSED BY EVIL SPIRIT
1: The priest who with the particular and explicit permission of his Bishop is about to exorcise those tormented by Evil Spirit, must have the necessary piety, prudence and personal integrity. He should perform this most heroic work humbly and courageously, not relying on his own strength, but on the power of God; and he must have no greed for material benefit. Besides, he should be of mature age and be respected as a virtuous person.
2: To perform his task correctly, he should be acquainted with the many practical writings of approved authors on the subject of Exorcism. These are omitted here for the sake of brevity. He should, in addition, carefully observe the following few rules which are of major importance.
3: Above all, he must not easily believe that someone is possessed by Evil Spirit. He must be thoroughly acquainted with those signs by which he can distinguish the possessed person from those who suffer from a physical illness. The signs of possession by Evil Spirit are of a peculiar genre. Among others: when the subject speaks unknown languages with many words or understands unknown languages; when he clearly knows about things that are distant or hidden; when he shows a physical strength far above his age or normal condition. These manifestations together with others of the same kind are major indications.
4: To be all the surer, the exorcist should interrogate the subject after one or two exorcism addresses, asking him what he feels in his spirit or in his body. In this way, also, he will find out what words disturb Evil Spirit more than others; and thus he can repeat such words and have greater effect on Evil Spirit.
5: Let the exorcist note for himself the tricks and deceits which evil spirits use in order to lead him astray. For they are accustomed to answering falsely. They manifest themselves only under pressure—in the hope that the exorcist will get tired and desist from pressuring them. Or they make it appear that the subject of Exorcism is not possessed at all.
6: Sometimes, Evil Spirit betrays its presence, and then goes into hiding. It appears to have left the body of the possessed free from all molestation, so that the possessed thinks he is completely rid of it. But the exorcist should not, for all that, desist until he sees the signs of liberation.
7: Sometimes, also, Evil Spirit throws up every possible obstacle in order to stop the possessed from submitting to Exorcism. Or it tries to persuade him that his affliction is quite natural. Sometimes, during Exorcism, it gets the possessed to go to sleep; or it shows him some vision. But it hides itself, so that the possessed appears to be freed from it.
8: Some evil spirits reveal an occult spell and by whom it was made, and the way in which it can be loosened. But the exorcist must beware of having recourse in such matters to witches or warlocks or sorcerers or to any others beyond Church ministers. And let him not rely on any superstitious practice or any other illicit method.
9: Sometimes, Evil Spirit leaves the possessed in peace and even allows him to receive Holy Communion, so that It seems to have gone away. In sum, innumerable are the stratagems and deceits which Evil Spirit uses in order to deceive men. The exorcist must practice caution in order not to be deceived by any of them.
10: He must remember, therefore, that Our Lord said there is a species of Evil Spirit which cannot be expelled except by prayer and fasting. Let him make sure that he and others follow the example of the Holy Fathers and make use of these two principal means of obtaining divine help and of repelling Evil Spirit.
11: If it is convenient, the possessed can be exorcised in a church or in some other religious and appropriate place apart from the public eye. If the subject is ill, or if there is any other good reason, he can be exorcised in a private house.
12: The possessed must be encouraged to pray to God, to fast, and to get spiritual strength from the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion, if he enjoys mental and physical health.
13: The possessed should hold a Crucifix in his hands or have it in front of him. Wherever available, the relics of the saints can be placed on his chest, or on his head. They should be appropriately and safely covered. But let care be taken that these holy things are not treated irreverently and damaged by Evil Spirit. The Holy Eucharist should not be placed on the head or anywhere on the body of the possessed. There is a danger that it will be treated irreverently.
14: The exorcist must not make great speeches or put superfluous questions out of vain curiosity, especially about future events and hidden matters which have nothing to do with his work. He should command the unclean spirit to keep silent and only to respond to what is asked of it. And he must give no credence to Evil Spirit, if it claims to be the soul of some saint or of a dead person or to be the Good Angel.
15: Questions he must ask the possessing Evil Spirit are, for example: the number and name of the possessing spirits; when they entered the possessed; why they entered him; and other questions of the same kind. Let the exorcist restrain the other vanities, mockeries, and foolishnesses of Evil Spirit. He should treat them with contempt. And he should admonish those who are present—who should be few in number—not to take any notice of what Evil Spirit says and not to put any questions to the possessed. Let them pray humbly and fervently to God for the deliverance of the possessed.
16: The exorcist should perform and read the exorcism with command, authority, great faith, humility, and fervor. And, when he sees that the possessing spirit is being tortured mightily, he should multiply all these efforts at pressuring it. Whenever he sees some part of the possessed person’s body moving or pierced or some swelling appearing, let him make the Sign of the Cross and sprinkle Holy Water.
17: Let him pay attention also to the words and expressions which disturb Evil Spirit most, and repeat them very often. And when he arrives at the point of Expulsion, let him pronounce that Expulsion again and again, always increasing the punishment. And, if he sees that he is succeeding, let him persevere until he is finally victorious.
18: Finally, let the exorcist beware not to offer any medicine to the possessed or suggest any to him. All this he should leave to the medical doctors.
19: If he is exorcising a woman, he should have with him some reputable women who will hold the possessed when she is tormented and shaken by Evil Spirit. Such women should be of great patience and belong to the family of the possessed. The exorcist must be mindful of scandal and avoid doing or saying anything which could provoke ill for himself or for others.
20: During Exorcism, the exorcist should use the words of the Bible rather than his own or somebody else’s. Also, he should command Evil Spirit to state whether it is kept within the possessed because of some magical spell or sorcerer’s symbol or some occult documents. For the exorcism to succeed, the possessed must surrender them. If he has swallowed something like that, he will vomit it up. If it is outside his body in some place or other, Evil Spirit must tell the exorcist where it is. When the exorcist finds it, he must burn it.
21: If the possessed person is freed from Evil Spirit, he should be advised to be diligent in avoiding sinful actions and thoughts. If he does not, he could give Evil Spirit a fresh occasion for returning and possessing him. In that case, he would be in a much worse condition than before.
CHAPTER TWO: RITUAL FOR EXORCISING THOSE POSSESSED BY EVIL SPIRIT
1: PRELIMINARY INSTRUCTIONS
Before starting the exorcism, the priest appointed by the Bishop should make a good Confession—or, at least, renew in his heart sincere contrition for all his sins. He should say Mass, and ask for God’s help. Then, wearing a surplice and purple stole, he should stand in front of the possessed. The possessed should be tied down, if there is any danger of violence. The exorcist is then to invoke protection on the possessed, on himself, and on his assistants, by making the Sign of the Cross and sprinkling Holy Water.
Then, kneeling down, he is to recite the following invocations, to which his assistants respond:
Exorcist: (The Litanies of the Saints).
E: (Pater Noster)—silently until the last part:
Holy Lord! All-powerful Father! Eternal God! Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ! You who destined that recalcitrant and apostate Tyrant to the fires of Hell; you who sent your only son into this world in order that he might crush this Roaring Lion: Look speedily and snatch from damnation and from this Devil of our times this man (this woman) who was created in your image and likeness. Throw your terror, Lord, over the Beast who is destroying what belongs to you. Give faith to your servants against this most Evil Serpent, to fight most bravely. So that the Serpent not hold in contempt those who hope in you, and say—as It said through the Pharaoh:
I do not know God, and I will not let Israel go. Let your powerful strength force the Serpent to let go of your servant, so that it no longer possess him (her) whom you deigned to make in your image and to redeem by your son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, as God, for ever and ever.
3: SUMMONING OF EVIL SPIRIT
E: Unclean Spirit! Whoever you are, and all your companions who possess this servant of God. By the mysteries of the Incarnation, the Sufferings and Death, the Resurrection, and the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ; by the sending of the Holy Spirit; and by the Coming of Our Lord into Last Judgment, I command you:
4: GOSPEL READINGS
John 1: 1—12; Mark i6; 15—18; Luke 10: 17—20; Luke 11; 14—22
E: Lord, Hear my prayer.
5: LAYING OF HANDS ON POSSESSED
The exorcist then invokes divine protection on himself and on the possessed by making the Sign of the Cross. Then he places the tip of the stole on the neck of the possessed and his right hand on the head of the possessed. He intones the following with great conviction and faith;
E: Behold the Cross of the Lord. Depart, Enemies!
E: Let us pray:
6: EXORCISM ADDRESSES TO EVIL SPIRIT
(1) Serving notice on Evil Spirit:
E: I exorcise you, Most Unclean Spirit! Invading Enemy! All Spirits! Every one of you! In the name of Our Lord Jesus † Christ: Be uprooted and expelled from this Creature of God. † He who commands you is he who ordered you to be thrown down from the highest Heaven into the depths of Hell. He who commands you is he who dominated the sea, the wind, and the storms. Hear, therefore, and fear, Satan! Enemy of the Faith! Enemy of the human race! Source of death! Robber of life! Twister of justice! Root of evil! Warp of vices! Seducer of men! Traitor of nations! Inciter of jealousy! Originator of greed! Cause of discord! Creator of agony! Why do you stay and resist, when you know that Christ our Lord has destroyed your plan? Fear him who was prefigured in Isaac, in Joseph, and in the Paschal Lamb; who was crucified as a man, and who rose from death.
(Then making the Signs of the Cross on the forehead of the possessed):
E: Lord, hear my prayer.
E: Let us pray:
(Then he makes three signs of the Cross on the chest of the possessed, while pronouncing the following words):
Let the efforts of the Enemy power be dispelled from his (her) soul, Lord, because of this invocation of your holy name. Grant the grace that he who has inspired terror up to this, now be put to flight and retire defeated; so that this man (woman), your servant, be able to worship you with a firm heart and a sincere mind. Through Christ Our Lord.
(2) Enjoining of Evil Spirit:
E: I enjoin you under penalty, Ancient Serpent! In the name of the Judge of the Living and the Dead! In the name of Our Creator! In the name of the creator of the world! In the name of him who has power to send you into Hell! Depart from this servant of God (the exorcist names the possessed) who has had recourse to the Church. Cease to inspire your terror in him (her) I again enjoin you solemnly † (on forehead of possessed), not because of myself who am weak, but because of the strength of the Holy Spirit: that you go out from this servant of God (name of the possessed) whom the all-powerful God made in his own image. Surrender, not to me, but to the minister of Christ. His power forces you. He defeated you by His Cross. Fear the strength of him who led the souls of the dead to the light of salvation from the darkness of waiting. May the body of this man † (on the chest of possessed) be a source of terror for you. May the image of God † (on forehead of possessed) be a source of fear for you. † God the Father commands you. † God the Son commands you. † God the Holy Spirit commands you. † The faith of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, and the other saints commands you. † The blood of Martyrs commands you. † The purity of the Confessors commands you. † The pious and holy intercession of all the Saints commands you. † The strength of the mysteries of the Christian faith commands you. † Get out! Offender! Get out! Seducer! Full of guile and falseness! Enemy of virtue! Persecutor of the Innocents! Give way, most despicable being! Give way, most impious! Give way to Christ in whom you did not find any of your own doing! He destroyed your kingdom. He bound you up in defeat. He broke your strength. He threw you out into the exterior darkness where destruction was prepared for you and your followers.
But why are you resisting truculently? Why do you dare refuse? You are condemned by the all-powerful God whose law you broke. You are condemned by his son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord. You dared tempt him and you dared to have him crucified. You are condemned by the human race to whom you offered the deathly poison of your suggestions.
I, therefore, charge you solemnly under penalty, Most Evil Serpent, in the name of the Lamb + most immaculate who walked unharmed among dangers; who was immune to all Evil Spirit: Depart from this person † (on forehead of possessed). Depart from the Church of God † (over the assistants). Fear and take flight at the name of Our Lord whom the powers of Hell fear, to whom the Powers and Virtues and Dominations of Heaven are subject, whom the Cherubim and Seraphim praise with unceasing voices, saying: Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God of Hosts!
The Word made Flesh † commands you. He who was born of a Virgin + commands you. Jesus † of Nazareth commands you. When you ignored contemptuously his disciples, he ordered you broken and humiliated to get out of that man. And when he tore you from that man, you did not dare in his presence even to enter the swine. Now that you are enjoined in his name †, depart therefore from this person whom he created. It is impossible for you to will to resist. † It is impossible for you to refuse to obey. † Because the more you delay, the more punishment you will get. It is not men you are disobeying. It is he who rules the living and the dead. It is he who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.
(3) Second Enjoining of Evil Spirit:
I, therefore, enjoin every unclean spirit, each devil, each part of Satan: In the name of Jesus Christ † of Nazareth. After his baptism by John, he was led into the desert and he conquered you on your own ground. Desist from attacking this man (woman) whom Jesus formed from matter for his honor and his glory. Shake with fear, not at the human fragility of a miserable man, but at the image of the all-powerful God. Surrender to God, therefore, †, who put you to flight from King Saul by the spiritual songs of his faithful servant David. Give in † to God who damned you in Judas Iscariot, the traitor. For he touched you with divine punishment and, shouting, you exclaimed: “What is there between us and you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Have you come here before the proper time to torture us?” He who drives you now into perpetual flames will say at the end of time to Satan and his angels: “Leave me, Cursed Ones! And go into eternal flames which have been prepared for the Devil and his angels.” Death is your lot, Impious One! And for your angels there is an endless death. For you and for your angels the unquenchable flame is prepared, because you are the Prince of cursed homicides, the author of incest, the head of all the sacrilegious, master of the most evil actions, the teacher of heretics, the inventor of all obscenity. Go out, therefore, † Impious one. Go out † Criminal! Go out with all your falsehoods! God has willed man to be his temple. Why linger any longer here? Give honor to God the Father † the all-powerful, to whom every knee will bend. Give place to Our Lord Jesus † Christ, who poured out his blood for man. Give place to the Holy † Spirit who through the Blessed Apostle Peter defeated you manifestly in Simon the Magician, condemned your falsehood in Ananias and Saphira, frustrated you in the magician Elymas by afflicting him with blindness. By the same apostle, he ordered you to depart from the Prophetess of Python. Leave therefore now †. Go away † Seducer! The desert is your home. The serpent is your dwelling. Be humiliated and cast down. The time cannot be put off. Behold the victorious Lord is near and quick. The fire is burning before him and devours all his enemies. For, even though you have deceived men, you cannot make a mockery of God. From his eyes nothing is hidden: he has ejected you. All things are subject to his power: He has expelled you. The living and the dead and the world will be judged by him with complete discernment: He has prepared Hell for you and your angels.
7: FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS AND PRAYERS
When all has been recited, it can be repeated as often as is necessary, until the possessed is completely free.
It will help, besides, to repeat with devotion the Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and the Credo over the possessed, as well as the Magnificat and the Benedictus Canticle (ending the last two with a Gloria).
8: PROFESSION OF FAITH (ST. ATHANASIUS)
Whoever wishes to be saved, must above all other things, hold firmly to the universal belief. If anyone does not preserve this in its integrity and purity, he shall without doubt perish forever. This universal faith is as follows.
We adore one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in one God, without confusing the Persons or dividing the substance of God. For the Person of the Father is different from the Person of the Son. And both are different from the Person of the Holy Spirit. But the divinity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is one and the same in equal glory and coeternal majesty.
What the Father is, that the Son is, and the Holy Spirit is. The Father is uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father is immeasurable, the Son is immeasurable, the Holy Spirit immeasurable. The Father is eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Spirit eternal. Nevertheless, there are not three eternal beings, but one eternal Being. There are not three uncreated beings, nor three immeasurable beings, but one uncreated and immeasurable Being.
Similarly, the Father is omnipotent, the Son omnipotent, the Holy Spirit omnipotent. But, still, there are not three omnipotent beings, but one omnipotent Being.
Thus, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. And, nevertheless, not three gods, but one God. Thus, the Father is lord, the Son is lord, the Holy Spirit is lord. But, nevertheless, not three lords, but one Lord. Just as we are compelled by our Christian truth to confess that each Person is God and Lord, so we are prohibited by the universal faith from speaking of three gods and lords.
The Father was made by no one: neither created nor generated. The Son is from the Father: not created, but generated. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son: not made, not created, not generated, but proceeding. There is one Father, therefore, not three fathers. And there is one Son, not three sons. And there is one Holy Spirit, not three spirits.
And in this Trinity, there is no prior or posterior element, no greater or lesser. But all three Persons are coeternal with Each Other and coequal. And, thus, in all things, as said above, we adore unity in the Trinity and the Trinity is unity. Whoever therefore wishes to be saved, must believe this about the Trinity.
But it is necessary for eternal life that you also faithfully believe in the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The correct belief, then, which we profess and believe, is that Jesus Christ, Our Lord, is the Son of God and is man. He is God from the substance of the Father, and generated before all time. And he is man from the substance of his mother, having been born from his mother in time.
Perfect God. Perfect man subsisting with a rational soul and human flesh. Equal to the Father in divinity. Less than the Father according to his humanity. Although he is God and man, he is not two but one. He is one, however, not because his divinity is changed into humanity, but because his humanity is assumed by his divinity. He is integrally one, not because his divine and human substances are fused and made one, but because of the oneness of his person. For, just as the rational soul and body make up one man, so God and man make up Christ.
He suffered for our salvation, liberated those already dead and waiting, and rose from the dead three days later. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God. Afterwards, he shall come to judge the living and the dead. At his arrival, all human beings must rise again with their bodies and they must give an account of all their own actions. And those who have done good, will enter eternal life. And those who have done evil, will enter eternal fire.
This is the universal faith. If you do not faithfully and firmly hold on to it, you cannot be saved.
9: PSALM READINGS
E: Psalms: 90, 67, 34, 30, 21, 3, 10, 12.
10: CONCLUDING PRAYER OF THANKS
E: We pray you, all-powerful God, that Evil Spirit have no more power over this servant of yours (give name of possessed), but that it flee and not come back. Let the goodness and the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ enter him (her) at your bidding, Lord. For through Jesus we have been saved. And let us not fear any ill, because the Lord is with us, He who lives and reigns as God with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.
CHAPTER THREE: EXORCISM OF SATANAND APOSTATE ANGELS
The following exorcism can be recited by Bishops and also by priests who have received authorization to do so from their own Bishops.
2: INVOCATION OF MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
E: Most glorious Prince of the Heavenly Army, Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle against the princes and powers and rulers of darkness in this world, against the spiritual iniquities of those former angels. Come to the help of men whom God made in his own image and whom he bought from the tyranny of Satan at a great price. The Church venerates you as her custodian and patron. The Lord confided to your care all the souls of those redeemed, so that you would lead them to happiness in Heaven. Pray to the God of peace that he crush Satan under our feet; so that Satan no longer be able to hold men captive and thus injure the Church. Offer our prayers to the Most High God, so that his mercies be given us soon. Make captive that Animal, that Ancient serpent, which is enemy and Evil Spirit, and reduce it to everlasting nothingness, so that it no longer seduce the nations.
3: ANNOUNCEMENT OF EXORCISM
E: In the name of Jesus Christ, God and Lord; through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, Mary, and Holy Michael the Archangel, the Blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul,~ and all the Saints; and relying on the holy authority of our office, we are about to undertake the expulsion of diabolic infestation.
E: (Psalm 67)
† Do not dare further, most cunning Serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the Church of God, to strike and shake the chosen of God like chaff †. The Most High God orders you †. It is he whom you, in your gargantuan pride, emulated. He wishes all men to be saved and to come to the acknowledgment of the truth.
God the Father † commands you. God the Son † commands you. God the Holy † Spirit commands you. Christ orders you, he who is the eternal Word of God become man †; he who destroyed your hateful jealousy against the salvation of our race; he who humiliated himself making himself obedient to death; he who builds his Church on a firm rock and provided that the strength of Hell would never prevail over that Church; he who will remain with his Church for all days even up to the end of human time.
The Sacrament of the Cross † commands you. The virtue of all the mysteries of the Christian faith commands you. The most exalted Mother of God, Mary the Virgin, † commands you. She, though lowly, trampled on your head from the first instant of her immaculate conception. The faith of the Blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul, † commands you. The Blood of Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints † commands you.
We exorcise you, each unclean spirit, each power of Satan, each infestation of the Enemy from Hell, each Legion, each Congregation, each Satanic sect! In the name and by the power of our Lord Jesus + Christ! Be uprooted and put to flight from the Church of God; from the souls that were made in the image of God and redeemed with the blood of the divine Lamb.
Therefore, Accursed Serpent, and all the power of Satan! We enjoin you under penalty, through the living God +, through the true + God, through the holy + God, through God who so loved the world that he gave his only son so that all who believe in him should not perish but should have eternal life:
Cease to deceive human beings and to offer them the poison of eternal perdition.
Cease to injure the Church and to set traps for the Church’s liberty. Go, Satan! Inventor and master of all falsehood! Enemy of human salvation! Give way to Christ in whom you could find nothing of your own evil. Give way to the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church which Christ himself created by his blood. Be humiliated under the powerful hand of God. Fear and take flight, when the holy and terrible name of Jesus is invoked by us. For he is feared by Evil Spirit, and to him all Powers and Virtues and Dominations of Heaven are subject. And the Cherubim and the Seraphim praise him with unfailing voices, saying: Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God of Hosts.
Lord, hear my prayer.
A: And let my cry reach you.
E: Let us pray.
We humbly supplicate you in your majesty and glory: Liberate us, through your power, from all the power of Evil Spirit, from its traps, deceptions, and treachery; and deign to keep us safely. Through Christ Our Lord.
E: From the ambushes of Evil Spirit,
8: BLESSING OF PLACE OF EXORCISM
The place is sprinkled with Holy Water
PRAYERS COMMONLY USED IN EXORCISMS AND MENTIONED IN THE EXORCISMS